Environmental Issues Lesson for Kids

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  • 0:05 Garbage
  • 0:32 Overpopulation
  • 1:05 Deforestation
  • 1:27 Water & Air Pollution
  • 2:40 How Can You Help?
  • 3:06 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Mary Beth Burns

Mary Beth has taught 1st, 4th and 5th grade and has a specialist degree in Educational Leadership. She is currently an assistant principal.

There are many different environmental issues occurring each and every day, like water pollution and global warming. In this lesson, we'll learn about the different environmental issues found on the land, in the water, and in the air, along with how we can help.


Have you ever thought about what happens to the trash you throw away once it's taken away by the garbage truck? It goes to the dump or a landfill. The improper disposal of waste is a huge problem on Earth.

Sometimes, hazardous waste is left in the dump, and it has the potential to contaminate, or pollute, the soil. The toxins from the hazardous waste infect the soil, and it can take millions of years for the soil to become healthy again. With the population growing, there is becoming less and less space for the extra garbage.


Overpopulation means that there are too many people and not enough resources to sustain the population, or keep it going. Think about it like this - let's say that you invite ten friends over for a pizza party, but you only have eight slices of pizza. Either two of your friends don't get a slice, or you will have to cut the pizza into smaller slices, giving everyone less. Just like your pizza party, the increasing population of the earth can lead to a shortage in water, food, and other natural resources that are needed to survive. Also, more people equals more pollution, so the population is polluting the earth at a rapid rate.


The loss of trees, also known as deforestation, is negatively impacting the environment in many ways. Trees produce the oxygen that we need to survive; without them we will not be able to breath. Also, many animals who live in the forests that have been cut down are becoming endangered or even extinct. Humans are the leading cause in deforestation, especially for farming or building.

Ocean Pollution

Water pollution is another leading environmental issue that the world is facing today. Chemicals that are poured into the ocean can lead the creation of dead zones. Dead zones are places in the ocean where nothing can survive because of the lack of oxygen. Similar to deforestation, this causes a loss in biodiversity, or the variety of living things.

Water & Air Pollution

Chemicals that infect freshwater sources is a huge problem. Living things need water to survive, and the water is not good if it's polluted with lead or garbage. As of today, there are over one billion people who do not have access to clean drinking water.

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